Outsourcing as a means of meeting organizational information technology needs is now a commonly accepted and growing practice, and one that is continually evolving (Dibbern et al. 2004). It has grown from the domain of IT embodying decisions such as where and how to source IT to a much wider set of business functions: logistics, accounting, human resources, medical, legal, risk assessment, and so forth. IT outsourcing (domestic and international) refers to the practice of using external agents to perform activities, to deliver products and/or services previously done by internal IT functions that are now transferred to third party vendors. This is not a new concept as it has been taking place since the 1950s with early facilities management arrangements and the contract supply of programmers. Global offshore outsourcing (or simply offshoring) is a relatively new phenomenon, which became a workable mainstream strategy in the 1990s largely because digital information could be transported cheaply and efficiently, offering access to knowledge-worker skills often at reduced costs. IT offshoring refers to the migration of all or part of the development, maintenance and delivery of IT services to a vendor located in a country different from that of the client. In the West, offshoring typically involves the movement of these services to countries like India and China where wages are significantly lower.
Hirschheim, Rudy; Loebbecke, Claudia; Newman, Michael; and Valor, Josep, "Offshoring and its Implications for the Information Systems Discipline" (2005). ICIS 2005 Proceedings. 85.